The scientific term for shingles is herpes zoster and it comes from the Latin language and it can be translated as “belt.” It is called like that because this condition inflicts a rash that looks like a belt.
People who experienced chickenpox in their life, have bigger risks to activate the virus which will result in a shingles outbreak. There are several shingles remedies that can help you get rid of it.
It is important to know that shingles can be active even though you don’t see a rash. Before you see the rash, you might only experience a burning sensation for several days. If it is the first occurrence of shingles, the pain can be enormous.
The first step of the growth of shingles is the development of blisters. The second step is the popping of the blisters and their crusting. That is the time when they start to heal. The common length of time for the healing process is around 3 weeks. However, every person is different and can experience different symptoms.
We want to warn you that shingles can be contagious and can be transferred to another person. The people who never had experienced chickenpox, won’t experience shingles, but they will suffer from chickenpox. If you had shingles once in your life, you can expect it to happen again. The shingles stop being contagious when the healing process is completely over and you can’t see any crust on the affected area. Before that, don’t do skin-to-skin contact in order to prevent the shingles outbreak to spread on another person.
We always have the nature to help us or simply speed up the process of healing. We will explain several therapies that you can do from your home in order to prevent or treat shingles from growing.
- Use anti-itch lotions (example – calamine lotion) to stop the itching and remove the discomfort.
- Bath and clean the affected area with soap and water.
- Hold cold compresses on the shingles at least three times per day.
- Buy Aluminum acetate (example – Domeboro) in order to speed up the process of drying the blisters after they ooze.
- Use petroleum jelly to make the process even more effective.
- Consume pain medications to reduce the symptoms of shingles.
- Take antihistamines (example – Benadryl.)
- Wear loose clothes, preferably made of cotton in order to prevent irritation on the rash if you rub it against your clothes.
- Stay away from people who haven’t experienced the chickenpox, those who are ill or those who have a weak immune system.
- Antiviral drugs (example – acyclovir, famciclovir or valacyclovir) can reduce the rash and remove any discomfort.
- Pain medications and medications with anti-inflammatory properties can help you treat the
- Opioids (example – morphine or oxycodone) for those who are experiencing postherpetic neuralgia in order to reduce the pain and discomfort.
- Topical corticosteroids can really help you reduce the inflammation and the pain, but always consult a doctor before buying them.
Vaccines against Shingles
The Food and Drug Administration in the United States has agreed for a vaccine for adults, back in 2006. This vaccine is known as Zostavax, and it is recommended for people older than 50 and those who had experienced chickenpox. Also, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention highly recommend the vaccine for people over 60 who have had the chickenpox.
The Zostavax is a vaccine that is only injected once in the patient and it is scientifically proven to remove the risk of getting shingles. Also, it can reduce the risks for 60 percent of getting shingles symptoms and appearance of PHN by two thirds. If you have experienced shingles in your life, it is recommended to take the vaccine in order to reduce the risks of another shingles outbreak.
However, a pregnant woman shouldn’t take the Zostavax vaccine. Those who are trying to get pregnant, need to get shingles vaccine three months prior the attempt.
Also, people who are under medications that suppress the immune system or those who have a weak immune system, need to avoid the vaccine.
Shingles can be a really hard thing to manage, especially because they can make your social life harder. Plus, two or three weeks of this terrible condition can be a whole lot to cope with.
Therefore, we need to be extra careful in order to prevent a shingles outbreak.